If you follow the local news, or you've parked in Downtown Duluth this spring, you are probably aware of a parking experiment that involves a new way to pay for parking on streets in Canal Park or Downtown. 

The new system is designed to do many things, including decluttering sidewalks of parking meters, provide receipts for parking (if desired), and offer more ways to pay for your parking. Before this trial, it was almost a requirement to have a stash of quarters for people that park downtown regularly. While the new system does allow the use of coins (of multiple denominations), now added is the ability to use dollar bills or credit/debit cards as a method to pay.

While I happened to have a quarter for my downtown visit, I found the option of methods to pay extremely convenient, and the optional receipt (which I opted for) offers a very convenient reminder of exactly where you parked and how long your spot is paid for. While I wasn't opposed to the new concept prior, I can say I am wholeheartedly sold on the concept for Downtown Duluth now that I have given it a try. While I don't know the cost of the devices or maintenance, I can't say I see many downsides. In any case, it is nice that the city is offering the opportunity to try the new devices and offer feedback.

The trial is currently taking place in a few select locations (notably between 3rd and 4th Avenue, along Superior Street). Your input on the new technology, including your experiences with the devices, is wanted. If you have any feedback about the trial system, you're encouraged to share it here.

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